The story of an inner-city Los Angeles police precinct where some of the cops aren't above breaking the rules or working against their associates to both keep the streets safe and their ... See full summary »
The story of an inner-city Los Angeles police precinct where some of the cops aren't above breaking the rules or working against their associates to both keep the streets safe and their self-interests intact. Written by
Prior to the start of the series, star Michael Chiklis had been known mostly for playing the chubby, good natured title character on "The Commish" (1991). Because of the contrast between that characters laid back, affable style, and Vic Mackey's violent and brutal style, Mackey was often referred to in the descriptions of the first season as "The anti-Commish." See more »
So, we cause a triple murder before breakfast, start a race war before dinner - that's uh, that's a pretty good day.
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If you read the first couple of pages of reviews for "The Shield," you'll think that it's a poorly-crafted ratings loser that shouldn't be on television.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I'll admit, I was hesitant to start watching "The Shield," but that was only because of Michael Chiklis. I absolutely hated "The Commish" and I figured this show would be a total dog.
A co-worker challenged me to watch the pilot and, if I didn't like it, I could return the discs to him and he'd never hound me about it again. I took his challenge and watched the pilot---and I didn't stop until the season finale. Chiklis won me over. The writing won me over. The cinematography won me over.
Is the camera-work shaky? Sure. But it's *supposed* to be. It's shot almost documentary style and I think that adds to the grit of the show. Some people claim that "The Shield" failed Movie 101. Well, you know what? It's NOT a movie. It's an episodic television series and there are no other scripted dramas on television that compare.
Is it a ratings loser? Absolutely not. Folks, it's on cable. It's not going to be ranked in the Nielsen Top 10...ever! "The Shield" has helped FX firmly establish itself on Tuesday nights and was the first of a series of outstanding and cutting-edge dramas. "The Shield" is better described as a cable success story, proving that quality, original scripted television isn't the exclusive domain of the broadcast networks in the United States.
If you haven't ever watched "The Shield" and are considering it, I'll pose the same challenge my co-worker did. Watch one episode and only one episode: Pilot. If you don't like it, turn it off.
I'm willing to bet, however, that you'll wind up doing what I did.
"The Shield" is top-shelf. There's no doubt about it.
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